Literary Yard

Search for meaning

By: Michelle Faulkner

This is not a quaint case of the blues
No handkerchief for a dainty cheek
I want to howl, I want to shriek
I want to tear the world in two

As you safely stand
In your well-dressed land
Handing out ornate soliloquies
Like pennies
yet neglecting to understand
The poverty of agony

While my dingy demeanor
is dismissed
I will burn buildings
if you insist

On painting glitter
over rage
On labeling my pain
a phase

An inconvenient rite, a blight
On your ladylike
well-mannered path
My wrists bleeding
As you correct my math

My words are not petty, not obscene
I am not a robot, not a machine

To defuse, deprogram or debug
Or merely lock away and shrug

In your placid belief
that compliance is peace
What is prison for
If not release?

When I am tumbling through
Unstable skies
And need a roof
to calm my eyes
It is your
structured strength
which I rely
To sit with me
and ask me why


  1. Michelle, what a passionate plea against some who hand out “ornate soliloquies” that neglect “to understand the poverty of agony,” in essence “painting glitter over rage …” Wow! There are so many unresolved issues that come to mind as I read your powerful poem. Nicely done!

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